Okay, don’t worry. I’m not one of those “I want to be my students’ best friend” teachers. Not at all. That’s not what this post is about. This post is about fun hands-on learning. 🙂
I’m piloting the Lucy Calkins writing program for my grade level, and I have mixed feelings about it (but that’s a different post). Right now we’re working on informational writing. Basically, they do an experiment and create a lab report. It’s been a lot of fun, actually. I was a little wary of it, but my kids are LOVING it. BUT this week was the most fun and engaging experiment yet.
They made catapults and then asked the question “What goes further, a ping pong ball or a cotton ball?”
First, they made their catapults.
I LOVED the teamwork. 🙂
Then, they got into their groups and wrote down their procedures.
Then, they started their experiments.
They were SO into it. Listening to their conversations was awesome. “Make sure you line it up!” “Okay, go measure it. Make sure you’re exact!” It was great.
They did a great job, but that’s NOT why I’m the coolest teacher ever. After we conducted our experiments and they did such a great job writing down their results and discussing their findings, I told them I had a surprise for them at the end of the day.
When they came back from their special, this is what they saw. 😉
They each got a turn to try to hit the target. They had a blast, and I’m pretty sure they all went home and made catapults this weekend.
These are the experiences that our kids will remember. They won’t remember their standardized tests, but they will remember those great, hands on learning experiences. 🙂